I have been dying my own silk hankies for needle felting purpose. When I use the same silk hankies for wet felting the color fades away. For example if I use a black silk hankie in wet felting it will end up blue. If I use a orange one it will end up pink. I use jacquard dyes green label for silk plus the jacquard fixative. I rinse them very well and I follow the instruction to the letter. Would I get a better result to steam them? I never did steaming before....
I don't use those. Are they an acid dye or a fiber reactive dye or something else? Are you following the instructions from jacquard or somewhere else? Acid dyes need to be heated but fiber reactive do not. If you go to Paula Burch's site she has lots of instructions and troubleshooting. www.pburch.net/dyeing/instructions.shtml sorry it doesn't seem to want to let me make it a link.
I use acid dyes for dyeing silk hankies and either steam them or nuke them in the microwave for 7 minutes on high power. Leave them to cool in the dye, then rinse.
I find black dyes can be a bit unreliable and often turn out with a greenish tinge rather than a true black. A tad of red in with the black dye can sometimes counteract this.
I'm not trying to preach, but this is the method I use, which may or may not be helpful to you.
I soak the hankies overnight in hot water with a good slosh of white vinegar.
Next morning I lay the pile of hankies on a grid over a dish, then gently, loosely roll them and lift them into an inverted "V" and leave to drip. The hankies should be wet but not dripping when you add the dye.
Open out the roll and lay flat on the rack, then pour over your dye solution, leave to soak through, then turn over and pour on more dye where it looks a bit pale. Leave to soak through again for a few minutes.
Pop them into a polybag and either boil or steam for about 45 min or microwave on high power for 7 minutes.
Leave to cool in the dye solution before rinsing carefully. I usually hang the pile on the washing line to drip dry.
For hankies I usually use the microwave and acid dye. I didn't microwave as long as you but I was not doing many at a time. I did this several years abo. I did a lot of them and I am still using them. I haven't used the fiber reactive dye for them. I use it for silk fabric.
Thanks a lot for all the detailed explanation Judith. I will take good note of that.
I use at least 100 grams of silk hankies per year that I dye with the stuff I mentioned above. I have a lot of dye ( the greed label from jacquard) left so I will have to wait before I dye the other kind unfortunately. But I will try the other kind for sure.
If I'm doing small amounts of say, carrier rods, throwster's waste, or other embellishing fibres, I put the fibres into jam jars in an open plastic box (to catch any boil over) and nuke them in the microwave.
I often re-use any remaining dye in the jars to get a paler tint. Waste not, want not!
Thanks a lot Zed, I will have to try that if I want the color to stay with my wetfelting. I wanted to avoid steaming, but steaming do not want to avoid me obviously. Oh well, it will be a good occasion to learn something new. Got to shop for a steamer now....